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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  October 31, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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shot nobody, shot at no one. doing 20 years in jail. it shows how ludicrous it is to have stand your ground laws that protect people who shoot and then others that fire warning shots that have a history of being abused. and they get 20 years in jail. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. all in the family. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. where the wild things are. if you're wondering where the wild things are, the real right wing of the country finds its home these days, look no further than the home of rafael edward cruz. what do we make of cruz sr.'s
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charge that the president should go back to kenya? should we kiss it off as another crazy texas birther comment of which there are so many? should we ignore the words that the president of this country is a marxist, that he's a second fidel castro? is the father the end of this thinking? does it all stop with him? or is the surrogate closer to the senator -- the father closer to the san than either will let us know? does it matter? or should we ignore the words of this man who's so close to the country's loudest, angriest voice of the right. david corn of mother jones magazine and he broke the story today on cruz sr. and back in september of last year, rafael cruz spoke to a tea party group on behalf of his son who was runni ning for senator
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the time. he made a claim about the president of the united states. watch him. >> we have our work cut out for us. we need to send barack obama back to chicago. i'd like to send him back to kenya, back to indonesia. >> according to the senior cruz, president obama is a marxist. let's watch this. >> we have to unmask this man. this is a man that seeks to disfraud, destroy all concept of god. i tell you what. this is classical marxist philosophy. karl marx very clearly said it. marxism requires we destroy god because government must become god. >> senator cruz's office told mother jones quote, pastor cruz does not speak for the senator. but in fact he often does as a surrogate put out by his son. rafael cruz is just more than a senator's father as the national
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review put it ted cruz has used him as a confidant, a stand-in, and a special envoy. he has sway in his son's inner circle that makes him a power broker. he uses his father for the kind of guidance you'd expect from a consultant. as ted cruz boasted to the magazine, quote, my dad poured himself into my senate race last year in the early months. one day i couldn't make an event so he drove out to west tengz alone. and he spoke on my behalf. a few hours later i asked how it went. he said even surrogates for the other candidates were asking for cruz yard signs. that's great father/son stuff. i'm all for that. i was able to have a father like that in terms of faithfulness to me and me to him. this is about a political partnership. this is about bobby and jack kennedy. rather jack and joseph kennedy. this is about two guys out there selling it. >> rafael cruz represents in a
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lot of ways the far right of the tea party libertarian economics and also the far right of christian fundamentalism. throughout the piece we put up on the site of mother jones today, we quote him in videos of saying some very extreme things. both religiously and just in terms of politics. when he gets out there and says president barack obama wants to destroy all concept of god, that he believes also that god -- that government is god, these are very harsh things to say. he's saying this while campaigning for his son as a representative of his son. so i think it's a fair question to put to ted cruz. do you buy this? is this man really speaking for you? does this somehow shape, animate, influence your views as you become the leader of the tea party and the far right here? and, you know, that's a question that he hasn't answered. and today -- yesterday he told me all those remarks were -- his office told me those remarks
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were taken out of context. i don't know how you take those remarks out of context. we put up the whole videos. >> i think context is the right question to use here. wayne slater, this question. if this guy gets further in terms of power on the right wing, senator cruz, if he gets higher -- he's pretty high right now. up along with rand paul. people will say how come we didn't know this about his father. i think people want to know about it. they'll say it's not fair to talk about a family member. i think he's more than just a family member based on what i'm seeing here. he's out in the political arena himself. he wasn't dragged into the political arena. he wasn't simply an embarrassing relative like ronald nixon or billy carter. he went into the political arena. he chose to have us listen to him and now we are. your thoughts, wayne. who is he and what role does he play? >> david's got it exactly right. i've spent time with rafael cruz on the road with ted cruz. he is very, very, very close to his son in every way that you
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can think both ideologically and as a strong father supporting his son. the father when ted was in high school in houston was instrumental in making sure that ted went to after-school classes that taught basically bircher philosophy. philosophy by a guy named clausen and a number of other people. and so cruz, rafael cruz has always held these views. he is very influential with respect to the son. now, look, you ask the son the question do you buy this stuff? and the son easily as politicians often say about a son of relative, he doesn't speak directly for me on these issues. what's most important about rafael cruz is he speaks directly in a way that resonates to the constituencies that ted cruz wants to hear.
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rafael cruz has said these kinds of things in tea party groups here. i've heard him in iowa and elsewhere. and let me tell you, you go away and talk to some of these pastors, religious pastors and populist tea party folks on the right and they'll say what's to disagree with? >> this is exactly what boehner does in the house. it's exactly what all people in the right now do. they have this rightist, far right of right ka tillon out there, this auxiliary out there. they use to it get right, right, right. if they get into power that will be part of their coalition. they do it by saying i'm not that far right, but that guy's an ally. boehner says it. they won't disown the craziest of them because the craziest of them is their engine. >> yeah. it's the tiger they want to ride into power. it's the tiger that john boehner rode into power as speaker. it's the tiger i think ted cruz wants to ride into power at least in the -- >> those people clicking their heels for ted cruz the jr. are
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thinking many of them like the father. but then they know you can't say that in public. like kenya. >> and wayne talked about rafael cruz's standing with the tea party which is very strong. he's also been featured by their heritage action group and freedom works. he's becoming a right wing star of his own. but also his sway is increasingly very strong within the evangelical community. christian reconstructionists. the dominionists. we probably don't have time to go into the theology here. but it's interesting. >> how do these -- >> but these people are -- we can get into that. >> what does it mean dominionist? >> a dominionist basically has a rigd and fundamental view of the world that people can be kings and priests. a king works in the secular world, a priest works in the spiritual world. and they take dominion over every aspect of society.
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economics, politics, so on. ted cruz himself has been anointed by dominionist pastors. >> so this is a christian version of sheree ya? >> it's basically saying these are the people who are going to bring into power the kingdom of christ. they basically talk about a theocracy without calling it such. >> wayne, watch this. in another tea party campaign this spring, rafael cruz called the country a christian nation. >> i submit to you that these two documents were signed on the knees of the framers. these two documents are devine revelation from god. and yet our precedent has the call to tell us that this is not a christian nation. this was formed, the united states of america was formed to
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honor the word of god. >> and he had this to say about the president of the united states. >> if you have heard him recite the pledge, he skips "under god." never says those two words. "under god." >> so the president according to cruz sr. never says the word "under god" in reciting the pledge of allegiance. in the fact-based world where there is things like videotape, we know it's not true. now, listen here to a 180 difference between nonsense and reality. >> we pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america. and to the republic for which it stands. one nation. under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all. >> and to the republic for which it stands one nation under god -- >> one nation under god indivisible with liberty and
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justice for all. >> we have been and always will be one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all. >> so that recalls groucho marx. you going to believe me or your lying eyes? i believe my lying eyes. i don't know what the -- why does the other guy say stuff that's so demonstratively untrue? are there people that don't want to hear the truth and just want to hear the gospel of the cruz family? why do they want to be lied to? this is one of the rare cases i'll use the word "lie." it's not about opinion on analysis or context. it's not true. he says "under god." >> yeah. well, as the romans said to christ, what is truth. truth is in this case a much larger thing. rafael cruz despite the obvious errors here, the obvious lie or fact that it's not true that obama doesn't use the term "under god," rafael cruz and ted
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cruz is speaking to a larger area, a larger message, a larger narrative. it is speaking to grievance and anxiety. he's speaking to people who think not only have they lost but that the country is not holding it center. but who feel that they've been betrayed. betrayed by their government, betrayed by a lot of other people. so when he speaks in these ways, these are ways that resonate. chris, if i went today and i know david has done this. back to iowa, northern florida, and parts of south carolina and asked christians even if they just saw that clip whether obama has never used the words "under god" when he recites the pledge, they will say absolutely. they will believe it because it's part of a larger sense, a fear to which the person who presents absolutes. and that's ted cruz. the person who brings this in a theological and frankly tea
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party populist sense, and that's rafael cruz, is telling the truth. >> you know what? i just want to say that this reminds me of what we always believed about the marxists. the real communist who is did it for a living. they would say anything that they believe would advance their cause. truth to them was whatever advances the cause. it sounds so much like the parallel to that. >> you know, it's interesting, too, and wayne got at this. that rafael cruz really represents the full synthesis of the religious right and the tea party right which we talked about the last few years. there's a tremendous overlap there. and they both are factions based on grievance, feeling they're not in the mainstream. and these people are -- you know, gives these speeches, goes to these megachurches and talks about this stuff. they say, yes, your son will deliver us. they mean it politically and spiritually. >> any connection between benjamin franklin, george
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washington, john adams, james madison and this crowd is purely coincidental. thank you david corn and wayne slater. coming up, if you listen to republicans you'll surely hear horror stories about people losing insurance because of the president's health care plan. the only problem with most of those stories is they aren't true. tonight a reality check on all the willful misinformation out there. plus rand paul digs himself even deeper. rachel maddow caught him plajerizing wikipedia and he goes after her. here's advice. shine a little light on your real problem and then move on. also, want to know how angry voters are about the shutdown? angry enough that the democrat who is weren't going to challenge house republicans are now jumping into the races. and there are a few more things more horrifying than washington dysfunction. it should be no surprise that halloween masks are a hot theme tonight. this is "hardball," the place for politics. charitable giving. really.
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more republican obstructionism on display today. senate republicans successfully blocked two obama administration appointees. u.s. congressman mel watt of north carolina was blocked from becoming the next head of the federal housing finance agency. watt is the first sitting member of congress whose nomination has been defeated by a phil buster since, get this, 1843. and the other appointee to be blocked by patricia millit to the court of appeals. "hardball" back after this. you'd what they're saying about the nissan altima. ♪ and we have to admit, that it's all true. but don't just take their word for it, check it out for yourself. the award-winning nissan altima. nissan. innovation that excites. now get a $179 per month lease on a 2013 nissan altima. ♪ with my united mileageplus explorer card.
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unfortunately there are others that are so locked in to the politics of this thing that they won't lift a finger to help their own people. that's leaving millions of americans uninsured unnecessarily. that's a shame. because if they put as much energy into making this law work as they do in attacking the law, americans would be better off.
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americans would be better off. >> welcome back to "hardball." i think that was the heart of it. that was president obama speaking yesterday at a health care rally up in massachusetts, the state made famous for his so-called romney care which was used as a blueprint to the affordable care act of the president's. the president is at war with republican who is have made it their sole mission these days and years to destroy the health care law. while the aca has certainly seen its share of glitches or problems, the gop has gone to great lengths to magnify and in many cases distort the issues. look at the latest headline in today's los angeles times. quote, another obama care horror story debunked. a democrat from washington and an m.i.t. professor in economics. he also served as an adviser to the white house and to congress on the president's health care plan. congresswoman, i want to start with you. i think somebody from mars would watch the congress these days and say what are those people so
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angry about? fighting like mad from the republican side with all this anguish and frightening anger. and i get the feeling it's not about whether the program is working or not. what they are angry about the democrats and angry about the president and angry about this health care program is they don't like the effort. they're angry that anybody tried to make sure that the 50 million people sitting as working people in the emergency room looking for some health care are being taken care of or being thought after. they don't like that effort. and that's why they're really angry. not that there are glitches. they don't like trying to do something for these people because they don't want to lift themselves up off their butts to do it. your thoughts. >> oh, chris. absolutely. when you stop and think about the ryan budget, for example. we would have seen 14 million, 15 million people thrown off medicaid. there's no secret that republicans do not like the notion of universal health care.
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and the affordable care act is just another iteration of that. we saw this happen with the rollout of social security, medicare, medicaid. any of those so-called entitlements republicans have not liked. they want government to be the hand maiden of business. they just don't believe in the american people taking care of each other. >> when i listen to people like especially ted cruz, i hear every word he speaks could have been written in attacking social security back in the early '30s, attacking medicare in the early '60s and medicaid. the same lingo. this is government socialism. this is fidel castro with an american accent. let me throw that question to you. you're an analyst and expert, but what is the anger about when you see these republicans gnarling and snarling away at this? what are they angry about?
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>> chris, i can't pretend to read their minds, but let's look at the simple facts. the simple facts are that obama care is built on romney care. and romney care is built on conservative notions propose bid the heritage foundation in the early 1990s to oppose the clinton health care reform. massachusetts government governor romney made them the center piece of his law. president obama despite the fact in the election he was opposed to the mandate recognized it was a system that had worked well in massachusetts with us covering two-thirds of uninsured citizens. he changed his views, dwopted the mandate. once he put his name to it, suddenly t suddenly they disliked it. when governor romney signed this law, on the stage with him was a speaker from the heritage foundation talking about what a victory it is. now it's the devil's work. now it's just ugly partisan politics. >> let me start with this question. among the president's problems are that he again and again said
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if you have an insurance policy and most people thought they had a good insurance policy thought they could be left alone. they bought that on their own. now they're being told by their insurance companies that those policies aren't going to exist anymore. what do you think was wrong if you didn't think anything was wrong and the way the president said you'd be left alone with no paperwork if you had a good policy. >> chris, the president probably should have made a vaguer statement about in general you'll be left alone. because the bottom line is 80% of americans get insurance from their employer or the government and they're not affected. we're talking about the small slice that buy insurance on their own. half of those people will be able to replicate what they have today. maybe the name of the plan will be different, the deductible will be a little different but they can buy pretty much what they have today. it's a small slice that will have to change their insurance plan. and the reason is they're
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probably on crappy insurance plans. >> so you can say it's junk insurance really. >> i don't know if it's most of them, but a large share of them don't have a good policy. either it's a policy that doesn't cover hospital care, doesn't cover mental health, or that has a $15,000 deductible that doesn't protect them from bankruptcy. >> let me go back to congresswoman moore. i don't like to get ethnic all the time, but sometimes it seems relevant. did you notice that there's a racial divide in their attitudes of people towards obama care? i wouldn't be surprise fire department part of that racial divide without jumping to too many conclusions is based on it was called obama care. your thoughts. >> absolutely. i think the first african-american president certainly has had a rough time overcoming some of the racial stereotypes and prejudices that many people have. but the reality is, chris, that a great disproportionate number of people who are going to
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benefit from the affordable care act are, in fact, african-americans. because they are in the lower income echelons of our society. so they're going to benefit by the expansion of medicaid and/or they're going to benefit by going into the exchange and the individual market because they're unemployed, they're disproportionately unemployed and don't have employer based insurance. or they're working for small struggling businesses that can't or haven't insured them to this point. and so there's no question that african-americans are going to enjoy a great benefit from the affordable care act. >> i love it. i love these polls because they put the big light on the fact that the right wing always says african-americans are on welfare and they don't want to work. in fact, people on welfare are covered by medicaid and have been covered by medicaid at the bottom. it's the working person that catches the bus and goes to work 40, 50 hours a week that don't
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benefit from this. they know it and the other side knows it and doesn't give a damn. let's go back to jonathan groouber. when will we get to a point -- if you're an optimist. the month that the benefits of the affordable care act outweigh the criticisms. where people say you know what? i think most people are happy with this system. >> chris, to be honest, i think that's going to be well into 2014. >> next year. >> we have to recognize -- yes. well into next year. we have to recognize the slow pace of enrollment. in massachusetts it took about a year to ramp up before when people could first pay for premiums and sign up. that first month 123 people signed up. by the end of the year it was 36,000. the key date to keep an eye on is that date of march 31st. that's the date people have to have insurance to avoid the mandate penalty. i think people will start to recognize that the winners outweigh the losers.
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that's only if we're willing as a society to recognize the importance of aggregates and not anecdotes. we have to recognize the winners are going to vastly outnumber the losers. we can't let the voices of the losers swamp the winners. >> people are used to anecdotes. the first tuesday after the first monday of november next year which is election day, will this thing be settled by then? >> it depends what you define as settled. oh, i'm sorry. >> go ahead, congresswoman. you first. >> i think democrats and republicans are both at risk november of 2014. but right now the public is more angry at republicans for shutting the government down and to the extent that they have done it to prevent people from getting health care is not enduring to their benefit. as a democrat, i'm hoping to really exploit the foolishness
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of republicans, to demonstrate to the american people that they don't deserve -- they need to be deselected for their lack of leadership and for their unwillingness to bring a common commodity such as good health care to people. >> it's great having you on, congresswoman. gwen moore of wisconsin and jonathan groouber. up next, what's more frightening than a government shutdown? how about the scary political costumes that are hot this halloween? this is "hardball," the place for politics. so i c
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for as low as $4 a month when you add renters insurance to your allstate auto policy. call 866-906-8500 now. what are you doing? we're switching car insurance. why? because these guys are the cheapest. why? good question. because a cut-rate price could mean cut-rate protection. you should listen to this guy. [ female announcer ] with allstate you get great protection and a great price, plus an agent! drivers who switched saved an average of $498 a year. call now and see how much you can save. just a few more ways allstate is changing car insurance for good. [ female announcer ] call an allstate agent and get a quote now. back to "hardball." time for the sideshow. tonight's halloween, of course. some stores out there are seeing a bump in certain costume sales driven, they say, by the political wackiness and dysfunction down here in washington.
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popular costumes on the website buy costumes.com have included this anthony weiner inspired outfit. as well as an unemployed smokey the bear suit which they sold out after the government shutdown. other big sellers include this "saturday night live" inspired john boehner and michele bachmann shutdown ensemble. politics runs deep on halloween. the halloween industry has correctly predicted presidential results every four years. since the clinton/dole candidacy, the candidate with the most sales of masks win. the most iconic item was the nixon mask which was used to protest the vietnam war policies and later watergate in the early 1970s. it was so popular that it out-sold the masks of jimmy carter and gerald ford two years
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after nixon was out of office. during the 1984 campaign, walter mondale made a self-deprecating way to get in on the fun. he was wearing the mondale mask. only to be outdone by the press corps that was wearing mondale masks. he lost that year to reagan. a boom of masks from bush to bill clinton to highlight just a few. and in 2004, the george w. bush campaign staff used halloween to mock their opponent john kerry who had famously gone duck hunting just a week before. that means that ted cruz who went pheasant hunting last weekend should also be fair game. after all, he's the face scaring a lot of trick or treaters this year. up next, rand paul was caught plagiarizing wikipedia by rachel maddow. now he's attacking her for catching him. you're watching "hardball," the
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i'm craig melvin. a federal appeals court has blocked the decision that ruled the stop and frisk unconstitutional. the ruling bars any changes to the policy pending the outcome of an appeal by the city. a massive storm system moving from texas to the northeast this halloween. it's dumped up to 14 inches of rain in austin and also triggered flash floods. and president obama and the first lady celebrating halloween at 1600 pennsylvania tonight. they welcomed little trick or treaters and gave out lots of candy. back to "hardball." ♪
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we're back now with a follow-up to that story we brought you yesterday about my colleague rachel maddow catching senator rand paul planlerizing from wikipedia. now senator paul has responded, sort of. let's recap monday night. rachel maddow broke the news that at the university senator rand paul quoted from a wikipedia entry on the movie gatica. he referenced the movie to warn that abortion access could lead to u jenices. here's one of the many things she pointed out. >> from wikipedia, ethan hawke's character quote, assumes the identity of jarome morrow swimming star with a genetic profile second to none who had been injured in a car accident. >> a genetic profile said to be secondary to none.
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but he's been paralyzed in an accident. >> this is weird. he's just reading wikipedia. >> then turns out paul did another speech lifted from the wikipedia page. the senator declined repeated requests to comment on these discoveries. then he appeared on the fusion network and was forced to face the music. >> as a journalist i have to ask you this question. msnbc accused you of plagiarism on monday. they accused you of stealing four lines from wikipedia for your speech. is this true? and they're saying that you borrow lines from wikipedia entry about the movie gatica. so what happened? >> yeah. we did. and i let people know that -- >> you did? >> well, we borrowed the plot lines from gatica. it's a movie and i gave credit to the people who wrote the movie. i think they're arguing about whether or not things are
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properly footnoted and there are technicalities to this. but nothing i said was not given attribution to where it came from. >> totally not true. he became blaming there what he called political enemies for this story. jorge ramos was ready with the follow-up. here he is. >> the rest of it's making a mountain out of the mole hill from people i think basically who are political enemies and have an ax to grind. >> because it seems it's not the first time. the website boss feed they said you borrow several lines from wikipedia again in a speech in june. >> i think once again -- >> the movie stand and deliver. >> once again it's a disagreement on how you footnote things. >> no. it's a plagiarism. here was senator paul taking questions about plagiarizing and turning them into the character of the person who caught him plagiarizing. jonathan capehart and joan
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walsh. both are msnbc contributors. what i think we're looking at here is not a question, of course, of plagiarizing from wikipedia with all its own problems and credibility problems which we've all come across, but plagiarizing and being caught doing it instead of saying got me. which he should have said you got me. a staff member was rushing through a preparation for something i said. put it in the speech without putting it in words for me simply using their words. instead of admitting that, he jumbles the story, talks about the plot line of movies, moves the conversation just like they conflate one with another subject and hope the people don't have a memory. but we do. your thoughts. >> exactly. all he had to do was say you know what, we messed up. she got me. i apologize. my staff will do better. and let's move on to more substantive issues that the american people care about. and that would have been the end of it. the american people are a very forgiving people. people on the left and rachel
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maddow, very forgiving people. but he didn't do that. and instead of falling on his own sword and admitting failure in this case, he attacked the messenger. and so as you aptly said, this is what he did by conflating the plot and the wikipedia entry. he's confusing people who are his supporters into thinking that the left is out to get their guy senator paul. >> and by the way, just so we all remember school. not everybody went to school recently, joan and jonathan. but plagiarism is a simple notion. you're taught to do it in school. don't repeat the words you find in the enpsych le paid ya or an online product today. don't use other people's creative use of language and say it's your own. don't say somebody else's creative language is yours. it's something we accept as not acceptable. if you're going to quote a
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quotation, quote the quotation. don't say this is what i think about things. it's just the words taken completely from wikipedia. and the character problem is here in not accepting blame and going after the character of rachel maddow which is absurd. >> it is absurd. no, you know, every sixth grader knows you don't lift stuff from wikipedia. people know the definition of plagiarism. i'm not sure if he's brazen or he's dumb and he doesn't know the meaning of the word. >> he hopes his people are. >> i think he's just brazen. to turn around and put it on rachel, you know, he's still mad at her because she made him look like a fool opposing parts of the civil rights act when he first won his primary in may of 2010. so there is from him to her. so i just think the inability to say, you know what, somebody screwed up. won't happen again. is kind of typical of folks on the right nowadays but particularly typical of him. >> i think he and cruz -- i
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think he's afraid of weakness, that's the new word they're afraid of. this is weakness, telling the truth or compromise. rachel maddow played rand paul's response on fusion in full on her show last night and then responded to it herself. here's the end of paul's interview, by the way followed by part of rachel's reaction to it. let's listen. >> so really this is really about information and attacks coming from haters, the person who's leading this attack, she's been spreading hate on me for about three years now and i don't intend for it to go away. i also don't see her as on objective news source. >> call me whatever names you want to. i've been called worse. but this is not a personal thing for me about this. i do not hate you nor have i ever tried to spread hate on you. and i'm sorry you feel that way. but also you didn't borrow plot lines from these movies. you read the wikipedia page out loud.
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the point is that you seem to have a frequent habit of plagiarizing parts of your speeches. >> thank you. it's a fun time when the mouse trap catches the mouse. thank you. up next, voter anger at ted cruz and house republicans is pushing democrats into running for democrats. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ [ male announcer ] maybe you've already heard what they're saying about the nissan altima. ♪ and we have to admit, that it's all true.
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president joe biden to fill out the remainder of the late frank lautenberg's term from new jersey. he'll need to run for re-election next year. his arrival pushes the democratic majority in the u.s. senate back up to 55-45. we'll be right back. i love to eat. i love hanging out with my friends.
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that's a trend we can all get behind. welcome back to "hardball." voters are so angry at republicans for shutting down the government that once reluctant democratic candidates are now stepping up to take on the gop incumbents. the state democratic party chair in deep red nebraska told "the
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new york times," quote, if i ever see ted cruz all i'm going to say is thank you, thank you. i would've been in witness protection. i didn't have anybody to run. democrats still have a long shot to take back the house in 2014. but their path to victory is now more realistic prior to the political showdowns and shutdowns. thanks to the gop's plummeting poll numbers throughout and the likes of ted cruz and cruz is the reason for the democrats' come back. political analyst charlie cook says democrats need four things to happen if they want a serious shot to take back the house. anyway, gop continued self-destructive behavior, more gop retirements, a fractured gop, and quality democratic recruits. well, the recruits are coming out of the woods. one of the democrats' top recruits is challenging a ten-term incumbent in southern new jersey, the seat once held by his father, bill, a namesake. he joins me now, bill hughes jr. and vince power is the democratic party chair out in nebraska. he joins us from omaha. i want to start with you, mr. powers, out there in nebraska.
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nebraska has this reputation of being the ultimate republican state, i remember that going back to the '60s with nixon beating kennedy out there. what's changed in the last two or three weeks? >> well, thank you very much for having me. actually, the nebraska has elected numerous democrats to the united states senate, but as you know, last year, bob kerry lost, so we don't have any federal officers, office holders. and we're having a very difficult time, unfortunate, recruiting, especially for the second cd, where we had a great candidate, john ewing. he only lost by 4,100 votes. but the city council chair, president of the omaha city council, pete festerson, this outstanding leader here in omaha, let me know right around labor day that he had decided against running. and it was a tough, tough time for us. >> let's go to bill hughes in jersey. i know the city very well, i grew up there, as you know, bill, and i want to talk about, your dad held that seat very well, he was mayor there,
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everybody liked him, a great reputation. yet for all these years now, you've got lobondy representing the district. what makes you think now's the time to take him on? >> we have record-high unemployment in southern new jersey, the economy is in shambles. we supposedly have a ten-term congressman, who's essentially not doing the job. what makes matters worse is that he's talking bipartisanship, but he's not acting like it. and behind the scenes, he's following the tea partyers. he's acting irresponsibly. and that's the reason that i decided to run. simply because, we're hurting in south jersey, because of his decisions in washington. and people are sick and tired of the political games, and, you know, it's time for a change. >> was he part of the tea party movement, or is he simply a fellow traveler? what would you call him? he seems like one of those people around philadelphia that i know, that they say they're not part of the tea party.
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every once in a while they vote in a different way, but it seems lake they're still with them on who the leaders are. if they go with the tea party people, they always go with it. >> you know what, you know, frac lobondy exercises a convenient bipartisanship. and by that, he votes his district when it won't hurt the republican party. he says he's not part of the tea party, he says he's not part of the irresponsible actions of the republican party. but the fact of the matter is, he only votes his district and has only voted his district when the republican leadership allows him to and when it won't impact the outcome of the vote. >> what do your people think of the tea party? >> you know, our people, as in south jersey, they are sick and tired of the games in washington. and, you know, the encouragement that i'm getting, interestingly, chris, is not just from democrats. it's from republicans and independents. and my decision to run has as
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much to do by the very conservative voters, very conservative businesspeople, and independent and republicans, who have contacted me, who have said, you know what, we need a change. we need to do something different. we've had this same old actions, the same old rhetoric for the past 20 years. and we haven't had much action. >> we're out of time. what would you do the your opponent, incumbent republican, lobondy, brought ted cruz in to campaign for him. what would you say? what would happen? >> i would say, thank you. thank you. and i would welcome ted cruz coming to the district and i think it would show the people of my district and my constituents exactly, you know, who frank lobondy really is. at least for once, he would be acting consistent -- you know, he would be outwardly acting consistent with his actions behind the scenes. >> thanks so much, vince powers of nebraska and bill hughes of new jersey, we'll be right back after this. give me more power!
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let me finish tonight with this. tonight's halloween and it's all about kids, of course, but i want you to look now at a small group of american kids, they're children of u.s. marines, playing on a swing like any other kids, except when they hear the colors. >> my turn! ♪
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♪ ♪ >> well, those kids know the stakes, they know the dangers of their parents' profession, they
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love their parents who fight for us and face what's coming. it's got nothing to do with partisan politics and everything to do with this country and those who service this country we love. anyway, have fun with your kids tonight, a night very much for them. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. and i'm dressed this halloween as steve kornacki. we've got lots of politics tonight, starting at the white house, where you might have noticed, it's been something of a rough couple of weeks for the president. with the rocky rollout of his signature health reform law dominating the news, the political toll is real and it is getting worse. and nowhere is the damage more apparent than in the latest polling from nbc news, where president obama's approval rating has fallen to an all-time low of 42%. that is a five-point drop from just earlier this month. these numbers, as bad as they are, don't necessarily exist in a vacuum.

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